May 29, 2020

A Resource in the Midst of Tension

All Minnesotans have been affected by the tensions and protests in the Twin Cities this week. Our hearts are with all who have been directly impacted by the devastation and sorrow.  We have taken measures to keep our staff safe, and remain available to our members as a Trusted Resource for industry information and advocacy.

An Unremarkable Ending to a Memorable Session

In case you missed it...buried last week under the crush of COVID-19 media coverage was pedestrian news that the legislature left town without finishing its prescribed business.  Not long ago, this development was deemed breaking news inciting outrage and condemnation from good government watchdogs and was broadly viewed as an aberration in the "state that works!"  Sadly, unfinished legislative obligations are now just considered a part of the process and the new political reality.  

Caught up in the apathy is the Capital Investments Bill.  The bonding bill should have been a layup for lawmakers, but the larger politics of COVID-19, Executive Powers and Emergency Orders got in the way.  Lawmakers have hit the pause button until their possible return on or around June 12, with the hoped-for intention of passing the measure.   The Governor released his $2.6 billion bonding bill in January, while the Democrat-controlled House introduced their $2.5 billion proposal in early May. The Republican-led Senate has a $998 million bill with an additional $400 million in trunk highway bonds.  Somewhere in between lies a compromise that will greatly assist a construction market that teeters precariously close to sliding into a post-COVID induced recession.

Building Jobs Coalition Plans Media Advocacy 

On Wednesday, June 3 (9:30 am), the Building Jobs Coalition (BJC) will be holding a virtual press conference drawing attention to the critical need to pass the bonding bill and the impact the measure has on local economies, construction workforce employment and construction market opportunity.The BJC is jointly led by AGC, the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades and the Minnesota Chapter of the American Institute of Architects.
Collectively, the group advocates for continued and sustained state investment in building and related construction infrastructure that se rves to provide benefits across the state while sustaining and supporting all aspects of the construction industry. 

New AGC Econometric Predictive Model is Game-Changing

Today's world runs on data and data analytics.  We capture and measure everything, but often miss the mark on applying data to tell a story or draw conclusions.  It has been difficult to quantify construction activity and the resulting impact on the broader economy along with the direct benefit construction brings to the workforce and the industry.  AGC of America recently introduced a new platform called the Construction Impact Model that has potential to deliver customizable, game-changing data analytics to the challenge of equating how construction investment levels influence various types of economic activity.  For more information on how to use this tool, click here.

Researchers at the University of Colorado at Boulder have built a platform that allows users to manipulate a number of variables, including construction types, investment levels, duration of investment, etc. and estimate the resultant economic impact across a broad array of economic sectors in the economy.  The model breaks down outcomes into Direct, Indirect, and Induced categories of economic impact.  Overall, the model predicts the number of construction jobs and resultant economic output that every $1 billion invested in construction in Minnesota sustains ( see this chart for details).  Going forward, the model will help better tell the story of how construction not only builds the foundation for Minnesota's economic future, but how construction contributes to the Minnesota economy.  

Tim Worke, CEO 
2020 Session Wrap Up

AGC staff has provided an overview of the 2020 Legislative Session based on AGC's legislative priorities and other relevant outcomes. Please contact Laura Ziegler with any questions.
COVID-19 / Epidemic Contract Rider

The AGC of America contracts committee has prepared a contract Rider to include in construction contracts clarifying that epidemics like COVID-19 include potential unforeseen costs and delays that are not included in the contract bid and justify equitable adjustments.  AGC members can view the rider here. Contact Renee if you need login credentials.
Employment Law Considerations in the Purchase of a Business
This post will address employment law considerations that should be discussed in the due diligence phase of a proposed acquisition, regardless of whether either company is represented by a union. Although union issues are often a critical factor in the purchase and sale of a business, there are other employment law issues to be considered.  Learn more

Written by  Phyllis Karasov, Larkin Hoffman
AGC Webinar: "COVID Claims - What Employment and Construction Claims You should Expect"

COVID-19 has created new obligations and challenges for businesses, and we can expect an explosive increase in resulting legal claims. This webinar will focus on the employment and construction claims that every business should prepare for arising out of the challenges caused by COVID-19. Phyllis Karasov and Christopher Yetka of Larkin Hoffman will present.

DATE: Thursday, June 18 (9:00-10:00 a.m.)
COST: $35 for non-members.  AGC Members use Discount Code "AGCMEMBER" to register for free (you will still need to enter credit card details to register, but will not be charged with that code).

Jeff Jensen Memorial Construction Safety Excellence Awards

AGC is pleased to announce that nominations are now being accepted for the Jeff Jensen Memorial Construction Safety Excellence Award  . This award, based on safety standards achieved in 2019, will presented in three different categories. The awards will be recognized this fall at the 2020 AGC Recognition Evening. 

Completed applications are due no later than August 24, 2020 and should be returned to Merry Beckmann at or mailed to the AGC office.
Federal Reserve Bank Survey Results

The results of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis' most recent survey on the Minnesota construction industry give insight into contractors' perspectives on the rest of 2020. For more detail, view this  summary spreadsheet of responses.
AGC of America Requests Highway Contractor Participation in Survey

Each year AGC of America surveys highway and transportation members about the state of highway work zone safety. Their intent is to measure the extent, and impact, of highway work zone crashes, their impacts on the safety of construction workers and motorists and their impacts on highway construction. Please complete the online survey by Monday, June 22nd. 
White Markings Increase Locator Efficiency

Gopher State One Call would like to remind all excavators to mark the excavation area in white prior to submitting the locate request. White marks increase the efficiency of locators by clearly showing where they need to mark. The use of white marks helps excavations go more smoothly as well as providing more time for locators to mark for other excavations.
Summer 2020 MPCA Volkswagon Settlement Grant:
$1.1M for Heavy-Duty Off-Road Equipment

Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will issue a grant request for proposals (RFP) in summer 2020 to fund the replacement or improvement of heavy-duty off-road equipment that is eligible under the Diesel Emission Reduction Act (DERA). We anticipate approximately $1.1 million will be available for projects that reduce emissions from older, diesel-powered off-road equipment.

Eligible equipment may include marine engines, locomotives, trailer refrigeration units, terminal tractors, drayage trucks, and off-road engines, and equipment or vehicles used in construction, handling of cargo, agriculture, mining, or energy production.

Stay tuned for updates on this grant opportunity! Find more information here, or email the MPCA.



Associated General Contractors of Minnesota 

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